Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) has the potential to bring explosive growth to almost any dental practice. The problem is that many dentists don’t understand some critical aspects of the ad medium that make it great. They end up steering clear of PPC altogether or give it a brief, ill-conceived try and then bail. They’re missing out! Here are some things that winning dentists understand about dental pay-per-click advertising.

PPC Gives Dentists Instant Exposure But Requires a Long-Haul Approach

Pay-per-click advertising is much more like television advertising than many dentists understand. Dentists who win with pay-per-click advertising understand that dental pay-per-click advertising is still bound by the rule of 20.

While many dentists read ‘pay-per-click’ and see ‘pay-per-patient,’ winning dentists understand that this is just not the case. As in a TV buy, your ad will get in front of many people—despite an aggressive approach to ad targeting.

People who have some interest in dentistry in your area will see your ad but may not click on it right away. While researching their options, they may scroll past your ad a dozen times. Each time the ad is displayed for them, it makes an impression—that’s what Google calls it: an impression.

In general, many impressions turn into a click. And like an impression, it’s typical for many clicks to happen before a user decides whether or not to contact a dentist’s office.

To follow the television ad analogy:

  • A partial view before changing the channel or getting up for a refill or a bathroom break = an impression.
  • Watching the entire commercial with mild interest = a click
  • Calling the number on the screen = a call or email to your office from the ad, landing page, or main website.

Google calls the phone call or emails to your practice (or a PDF download, etc.) a conversion.

Many dentists mistakenly believe that a person will search once, see their office’s ad, immediately click on the ad, and immediately call the office. They may say that they understand that that doesn’t always happen. Still, in their minds, the scenario of multiple searches, multiple impressions, and multiple clicks happening before the conversion is the exception and not the rule.

Winning dentists understand that the rule of 20 applies to pay-per-click advertising and that repeated exposure is one of the benefits of dental pay-per-click advertising. They know that an effective pay-per-click campaign requires a long-haul approach.

Screenshot of Dental blog on why wrong number calls to your dental practice happen

Dentists Who Kill It With PPC Remove Roadblocks

Maybe it’s fear of failure. Maybe it’s fear of confrontation. Maybe it’s because dentists feel they don’t have the time or ability to hire and keep the right people. Whatever the reason, many dentists end up putting roadblocks between the advertising they run and getting patients in the door.

New patient roadblocks include:

  • A phone tree system
  • A team that regularly lets the phone go to voicemail
  • A team that doesn’t call people who send emails
  • A team that doesn’t respond to email inquiries
  • A team that mishandles intake calls by getting mired up in details like insurance
  • A team or doctor that views phone calls as a nuisance rather than opportunities
  • A schedule that prevents immediate (within 1 week) booking for new patient appointments
  • A new patient intake process that requires more work from the patient after the first call before they can be seen at the office

Your team has a massive impact on your marketing success. Your processes do too.

Dentists who get a lot of new patients from pay-per-click understand that ad targeting can eliminate a lot of looky-lous and bring in opportunities for sales, but that their team and processes must be geared toward selling dentistry. An effective sales strategy removes as many roadblocks as possible between the patient’s initial inquiry and their opportunity to say “Yes” to treatment.

Winning Dentists Track Results

Data is everything for a successful dental pay-per-click campaign. At Pro Impressions Marketing, we do everything we can to track pay-per-click campaigns from end to end; from the moment ads are live on Google, Facebook, or Instagram until the patient has contacted the practice.

We track campaigns based on:

  • Which keywords get the most impressions
  • Which ads get the most clicks within those keyword groups
  • Which landing pages perform the best after the click (time on site, scroll depth, as well as conversion rates)
  • Which keyword groups generate the most conversions (new patient opportunities)
  • How many calls versus emails the campaign generates
  • How many new patient leads are from people who have not been to the practice before and are actually looking for a dentist (i.e., new patients!)

Winning dentists don’t necessarily follow all of those metrics, but they do stay in touch with their account manager on trends in performance. They trust their pay-per-click agency but verify the outcome of their investments.

Winning Dentists Close the Pay-Per-Click Feedback Loop

Dentists who get many new patients from their Google Ads share details every month about how things are going at the office. They close the feedback loop.

Staying in close communication with their dental pay-per-click agency, they share:

  • A sense of when they are busy
  • A sense of when things are slow
  • When they detect a problem with lead quality over the course of a few weeks
  • Specific trends they see (ex. A run of patients with a specific problem or question)
  • Specific trends in new patients from geographic areas
  • Ideas for new geographic targeting in specific areas

Over time, specifics and tracking help successful dentists get more out of their marketing by avoiding wasted efforts.

Winning dentists share the responsibility of directing their marketing investment by actually collaborating with the agency rather than believing that their marketing company should somehow be aware of what’s happening in the real world of their office. They know that they play a role by keeping their dental PPC agency informed.